Vlachernai Garrison's Home Page
Vlachernai Garrison Home Page
Welcome.
On behalf on the executive and members of the Vlachernai Garrison of the New Varangian Guard Inc. I would like to take this opportunity thank you for up loading this web page. The Vlachernai Garrison is the oldest garrison of the organisation and was established in 1981. These pages have been set up to aid members and non-members alike in finding out more about the garrison, the New Varangian Guard Inc. and the historical period which the organisation covers (the Byzantine Empire, its enemies and allies between the 9th century to the 13th century).
Contact Details.
Email: secretary.vlachernai@eudoramail.com Postal: Post Office Box 238, La Trobe University, Victoria, Australia, 3086.


The Ratatosk is now online at:
 http://www.oocities.org/vlachernai_garrison/ratatosk.html

Melee at the 1997 Australasian Medieval Conference, Sokil, Victoria.
Sorting out the rope before loosing of the trebucet
Rick, Bjarki and Sven competing in the NVG Annual Archery Tournament (Mount Beckworth, Victoria, 1998).
Denise and Christobel proudly displaying their results from the period bread making workshop, Rusalia 1998.
Varangians and other feasters at one of the feast at the Brisbane Conference, 1995

News
Reports
Calendar
Gallery - The early days.
Gallery 1 - Combat
Gallery 2 - Sieges and Siege Equipment
Gallery 3 - Archery and other skills
Gallery 4 - Miscellaneous
Gallery 5 - Drill practice
Gallery 6 - Route March
Membership Profiles
Seeking Membership and FAQ's
Links
List of Recommended Suppliers
Standing Orders
Archery Competition Rules
Arms and Armour
Vlachernai's Traction Trebuchet

 
 Feast Recipes
 Gallery 7 - 20th Birthday Party
Gallery 8 - Armidale Dark Ages Event
Gallery 9 - The Gathering
Corryong, Victoria
Ratatosk
(Vlachernai's Newsletter)

Historical basis for the Varangian Guard

Norse and Rus' had been travelling to Byzantium for at least a century before 988 A.D., when Grand Prince Vladimir of Kiev (later Saint Vladimir) sent six thousand 'Varangians' (probably mixed Russian and Norse troops) to Constantinople to serve Emperor Basil II, in return for Christian baptism and the hand of a Byzantine princess.

Like other Rus' before them, they served with distinction in the regular army, but sometime around or before the middle of the eleventh century, Varangians replaced the existing native Imperial guards. Their boldness, bravery and unswerving loyalty is recorded by Byzantine chroniclers.

These Emperor's Varangians, also know as the 'axe-wielding guard' (though one Emperor nicknamed them "Winebags"), were primarily Norsemen until the late eleventh century, when a large influx of Englishmen fleeing Norman  persecution significantly changed the ethnic composition.

Scandinavian involvement revived during the Crusades, and indeed, the heyday of the Emperor's Varangians seems to have run from the late 11th to the mid 12th century.

After the destruction caused in the capture of Constantinople by the Fourth Crusade in 1204 A.D., the Varangian Guard continued to exist in name but became a hereditary ceremonial guard, largely drawn from internal Byzantine sources.



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This page was last update on the 4th June 2004


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Copyright © Stephen Francis Wyley 1999 - 2004
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